- Social policy
Social policy relates to guidelines for the changing, maintenance or creation of living conditions that are conducive to human welfare. Thus social policy is that part of
public policythat has to do with socialissues. Social policy aims to improve human welfare and to meet human needs for education, health, housing and social security. The Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Universitydescribes it as "public policy and practice in the areas of health care, human services, criminal justice, inequality, education, and labor" [web-page at http://www.hks.harvard.edu/socpol/about.html, retrieved 15th July, 2008.] .
In an academic environment,
London School of Economicsprofessor Richard Titmussis considered to have established Social Policy (or Social Administration) as an academic area of study. Many universities offer the subject for undergraduateand postgraduatestudy.
United States politicsand in Canadian politics, social policies are those which regulate and govern human behavior in areas such as sexuality and general morality. Social policies are in contrast to other, more traditional forms of political policy, such as foreign policyand economic policy. Modern-day social policies may deal with the following issues:
abortion, and the regulation of its practice
* the legal status of
* the rules surrounding issues of
marriage, divorce, and adoption
poverty, welfare, and homelessnessand how it is to deal with these issues
* the legal status of
* the legal status of
Social policy may be influenced by
religionand the religious beliefs of politicians. Political conservatives as a whole generally favor a more traditionalist approach that favors individual initiative and private enterprise in social policy. Political liberals, on the other hand favor the guarantee of equal rightsand entitlements to all people and tend to favor state regulation or insurance to support this.
Europe, social policy usually refers to policies affecting the social conditions under which people live. Important areas of social policy in these countries are:
* Accident insurance
* Retirement insurance
* Labour regulation
Social policy often deals with issues which Rittle & Webber (1973) called
Rittel, H. & Webber, M. (1973). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. "Policy Sci" 4:155-169.
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